Zeppole di San Giuseppe

We welcome this guest post by Jenny Arena-Galati of Fables and Focaccia. Jenny shares our passion for maintaining Italian traditions for our future generations and has a magic touch when it comes to pastries in particular.

The popular pastry  “Zeppole di San Giuseppe” are made on March 19th to honor the feast of St. Joseph, in Italy and abroad and are separate and distinct from the Calabrian Zeppole we enjoy on Christmas Eve. Traditionally these zeppole are also fried, however, this version is lightened up by baking the pastry shell instead. If you cannot find Amarena Sour Cherries you can also use a good quality Cherry Jam. To substantially shorten the preparation time (which includes 2 hours for cooling)  you can use store bought custard for the filling as an alternative as well!



  1. Preheat the oven 425 F
  2. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpats
  3. For the pastry, combine first 4 ingredients in a medium pot
  4. Cook over medium heat until boiling (approx. 4 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat & gradually stir in flour until well blended.
  6. Return the pot to heat
  7. Continue cooking while stirring vigorously for 2 min.
  8. Remove from heat once again
  9. Add 4 eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions.
  10. Fit a pastry bag with a large star tip
  11. Fill bag & pipe out circular shapes (as small or as large as desired)
  12. Bake on middle rack for 15-20 min. until puffed up and golden brown.
  13. Let cool completely on a wire rack
  14. Slice in half to prepare for filling.
  15. For the filling, combine remaining & last 4 ingredients in a saucepan
  16. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes stirring constantly.
  17. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 2 hours.
  18. Brush the two halves of the pastry shell with cherry liquid or jam. (optional)
  19. Place custard filling in a pastry bag
  20. Pipe custard over the bottom half of the shell
  21. Top with as many of the halved cherries as desired.
  22. Place the top half of the pastry over the filling
  23. Pipe additional dots of custard to hold the cherry garnishes on top.
  24. Lightly dust the finished zeppole with powdered sugar before serving.
  25. Serve immediately to ensure the light and crisp texture of the pastry.

About the Author:

I am a little of a great many things. Every experience and every blessing. And even though the whole may be greater than the sum of it's parts, welcome to this little part of me I call "Ita-liana." Raised in an Italian grocery store/food importing company (which explains why wine and olive oil runs through my veins) this is the part of me that is the very best of my Sicilian and Calabrian roots. Watching my Calabrese mother and grandmother cook for the entire family, with not only expertise and ease, but with an over abundance of love, left it's mark. Travelling back to Italy and learning about family history did the rest, while my Sicilian side kicks in almost intuitively. * © All recipes, photography, illustrations on posts by "ita-liana" and "Recipideo" video content copyright Liana Tumino ©

Website: http://www.ita-liana.com

1 Comment »



March 21st, 2014 at 2:52 pm

I made them and they came out amazing! thank you!

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zeppole di jenny
This Dessert involves Baking and is usually served for Festa di San Giuseppe and St Joseph Day. It is an Italian dish.
Preparation Time: 120 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 140 minutes